Too Much Golf?
By Kevin Sylvester
This past week I did something I never thought I could do, play too much golf. Words that are just as shocking to write as they are for you to read. I am golf, or so I’d like to think. Currently, the majority of my living comes from the great game of golf through my work as an announcer and producer. It’s a cinematographic office that I’m looking to lock up for a long time. I may even get my name etched in the glass.
A Love Affair
I absolutely love golf and all that the game has to offer. The personal challenges, competition, practice it takes to perform, the scenery, the cool clothes, the engineering of equipment, and most of all, the people. I’ve met a lot of great people in the game of golf, many of whom I consider friends. feel blessed from all that golf has given me. Golf is really a lifestyle for me, and millions of other people. I, nor they, are owed anything from the game.
I’ve often said I could play golf everyday. A statement I backed off from Friday evening. It was at the 19th hole, actually the beautiful patio on the hill overlooking the left side of the 18th green at Country Club of Buffalo, when I declared to my host and other two guests, “I played too much golf this week”. Jaws dropped. Time stopped. Forget the solar eclipse. Kevin Sylvester stating that he played too much golf was bigger news. I, now, am even questioning my own statement, but let me tell you about my week.
Week That Was
The week in audit, is a seven day period that started on Saturday, August 12th. My friend Marc (we don’t need last names) invited me to play in a memorial outing for a friend that passed 15 years ago from a heart attack at a very young age. I left the Buffalo Sports Page radio show 30 minutes early in order to make the noon start. I was excited because I had not played with Marc all season, and we usually tee it up 3-4 times a summer. I called him when I was just up the street from River Oaks on Grand Island. His response, “What are you doing there? We’re playing at Rothland in Clarence!”. I couldn’t hit the brakes fast enough. I hadn’t read the email in depth, and figured since it was mostly Grand Islanders playing that we would naturally compete at River Oaks. I turned around, hit construction traffic, and joined the foursome (actually three until I arrived) three holes into play. After getting ribbed quite a bit, I played really well. My putter (a new one) was hot! We won the tournament, and I now get the honor of wearing the championship blazer for the next year.
I took Sunday the 13th off because I had a scramble event to play on Monday at East Aurora CC for the Mathew Foster Foundation, I very worthy cause. I was invited by my friend Len, whom I first met when we were members at Lancaster CC. Other members of the group were guys I knew from playing in the invitational at Orchard Park CC (I felt like I was cheating on my best friend Will, the OPCC member whom I play with every year). We had a blast. Len is a riot to play with, always in a good mood, laughing along with the good and bad shots alike. The highlight was cheering him on in the putting contest (my putter had cooled off), even though he didn’t take top prize. I stayed for dinner, but had to leave as it was getting late. I arrived home at 8:30 pm, pretty tired from a “tough” day on the course in the elements.
I took Tuesday off because I had three straight days of golf ahead, starting with a men’s guest day at Lancaster CC with my friend Don. I usually play with Don and his friends in the Ronald McDonald House charity golf tournament in June, but had a scheduling conflict this year. Don is a very generous man and one of the nicest human beings I know. He’s worked very hard to build a successful business, and beat cancer! I admire him very much. This one day event is a play own ball format with the scoring as follows: three best scores on the par 3’s, two best on the par 4’s, and top score of the group on the par 5’s. We won the event last year, and I was feeling good about our chances again. I was hitting the ball pure on the range, and that carried over to the course. I was murdering the ball off of the tee, the best driving all year. I holed out from 105 yards with a 50 degree gap wedge on the 18th hole for eagle! I ended up carding my best round of the year, a 75. We finished 2nd, but who cares, a 75 is a 75!
I was feeling really confident on Thursday morning, but I was tired. Three rounds in five days was taking its toll, but I had to suck it up because the Tee 2 Green Michelob Ultra Golf Experience had a 9:00 AM tee time at Tan Tara Golf Club. Brian Koziol, Tee 2 Green Radio co-host, and I selected two listeners via Twitter to challenge us in a match event. Michelob Ultra provide great prizes, including new golf bags for the winners, but they had to beat us. The format was 6 holes of best ball, 6 holes of shamble best ball, and 6 holes of alternate show. We figure it would come down to alternate shot, and be excited. It wasn’t. It was if Brian and I had never played. I don’t want to take anything away from Mike and Nate (the winners), but we were terrible. I could’t find a fairway off the tee, let alone hit a green in regulation. Brian is usually a solid driver of the golf ball, but he was a different person on Thursday. Needless to say, we got smoked, and I was cooked. Everything was sore, but I had to recover because I was invited to play CCB on Friday afternoon.
I have played Country Club of Buffalo a half dozen times in my life, and thus, know enough not to turn down an invitation. It’s a great golf course, always in top condition, the clubhouse and grounds are gorgeous, and you’re treated like gold. A day at CCB is an experience I wasn’t going to miss. My neighbor John invited me on the invitation of his friend Kevin, the member and acquaintance from some friendly card games. The itinerary was a mid afternoon lunch, followed by a round of golf. I was looking forward to it, and to regain the form I had just two days earlier. Well, it was a mix. Bad hole followed by three good holes, then another bad hole (even though there aren’t any at CCB). The wind was stiff, and made conditions tough. That’s my excuse for not breaking 80, but I actually didn’t care because I was with great company on a great golf course. Which brought me to the spot where this post began. The patio overlooking the 18th and may statement about too much golf. I had just finished five rounds of golf in seven days, and I was exhausted.
Frankly, I still am as I write this, my second day away from a course. My yard is not cut, the shrubs need a trimming, and my pool needs some maintenance. During the stretch, I didn’t notice my wife had taken the boys for haircuts. Father of the year! I’m taking a break, until Wednesday anyway, the last day of men’s league regular season at Fox Valley. Of course, if I get a call…………